virtual dreamer

nextI have written extensively over the years about the process of falling asleep and have sorted my journal into four areas of interest.

The Sound of White Noise and Sleep

Imagine being in a room where all the sounds a human can hear are played over a speaker. Voices, thunder, keystrokes, music, water boiling, cell phones ringing... all at once. The resulting conflagration of sound would result, in theory, in white noise.

White noise contains all frequencies and is often used to mask other sounds. If you are in a motel and noise from the room next to you can be heard in your room, you might turn on a fan to drown out the voices. A sound of a fan produces an approximation of white noise. But why does white noise drown out noise?

Here is popular way to imagine the effects of white noise and sleep. If you listen to two people who are talking at the same time your brain can normally pick out one of the two voices and actually hear and understand it. If three people are talking simultaneously your brain can probably still pick out one of the voices. However If 500 people are speaking at once there is no way that your big brain can pick out one single voice. It turns out that 500 people speaking simultaneously sounds a whole lot like white noise. So when you turn on a fan to create white noise you are essentially creating a source of 500 voices. The voices next door make it 501 voices and your brain can not focus on one single voice anymore. This is the magic of the murmur ( i.e. Murmur in the Symphony ...and many others).

This works for Tinnitus sufferers as well. That ringing sound in our ears now must compete with a much more saturating environmental noise for your brain's awareness. Some nature sounds contain natural white noise. Rain, waves, and other natural sources feel much more pleasant to listen to then this:

5 seconds of white noise

White noise can and will help you fall asleep. What we do is add another dimension to the sounds. We strive to simulate an actual environment. Used in conjunction with your own ability to visualize, the sleep inducing effect can be dramatic. If you want to download a free MP3 of White Noise click here.

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